The share of nuclear electricity production in 13 EU countries totaled 25% in 2020, the bloc’s statistical office, Eurostat, said on Wednesday.
EU countries produced 683,512 gigawatts-hours (GWh) of nuclear electricity last year, 52% of which came from France, producing 353,833 GWh, according to Eurostat.
More than three-quarters of the electricity generated in nuclear power plants in the EU came from France, Germany, Spain and Sweden. Germany ranked second generating 9% or 64,382 GWh. Spain also with 9% produced 58,299 GWh, while Sweden generated 7% - corresponding to 49,198 GWh.
At the beginning of 2020, 13 EU member states that produce nuclear energy had a total of 109 nuclear reactors in operation.
Three nuclear reactors permanently shut down in 2020, two in France and one in Sweden. Despite this, France remained the EU country with the highest reliance on nuclear power, accounting for 67% of the electricity generated in the country in 2020.
Slovakia was the only other EU member to generate more than half of its electricity from nuclear power reactors at 54%.
Hungary followed with 46%, Bulgaria with 41%, Belgium with 39%, Slovenia with 38%, Czechia with 37%, Finland with 34%, Sweden with 30%, Spain with 22%, Romania with 21%, Germany with 11% and the Netherlands with 3%.
In April 2020, the European Commission's scientific body, the Joint Research Center, released a report that found that nuclear power is a safe, low-carbon energy source comparable to wind and hydropower in terms of its contribution to climate change.
The European Commission has recently proposed plans to label some gas and nuclear power as green, prompting criticism from Germany.
The plan claimed that gas and nuclear power are critical in assisting the transition to cleaner energy, which was termed as “totally wrong” by the German environment minister.
The proposal comes months after countries promised at the COP26 climate meeting to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
'It is vital to recognize that the fossil gas and nuclear energy sectors may contribute to the decarbonisation of the Union's economy,” according to the proposal.
By Sibel Morrow